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One of the most important lessons in owning a home is learning when to throw in the towel or the plunger & call for professional help. It does not mean you are stupid or ignorant. It just means you know when to give up. It is a smart person that knows when to give up and stop killing yourself over trying to do it yourself. For most people it is a last resort and many times it should be. Plumbers are generally overpriced and you pay for travel time and several other hidden fees. Please be sure that you absolutely have to call a plumber before you do. If you have to call a plumber to take on a project there are a few things you can do to keep some of your money.
The first thing most people do is call the plumber with the lowest rates. This sounds like the logical thing to do, however it is not consistantly the wisest course of action. This is because hourly rates are hard to compare. Some plumbers charge mileage. Some plumbers start charging as soon as they start the car on the way to your house. Some charge by the minute. Some charge by the quarter hour. Some charge by the half hour.
The best way to choose the best plumber is choose a plumber with a good reputation for customer satisfaction. When you call, see if they have any references. Ask your friends and family if they know of anyone and if they were satisfied. Satisfaction is important. You may spend more at first, but you will only pay for one visit as opposed to several.
MINIMIZE YOUR PLUMBING NEEDS:
The best way to avoid spending too much money on a plumber is to avoid having to call one. The main reason most people call a plumber is drain backups and other drain problems. These can usually be fixed much cheaper than calling a plumber.
Grease clogs are the most common drain problem. This can be fixed by experimenting with several things almost the house to see what works best to keep your drain clean. What works for most people is pouring some hot water and vinegar down the drain daily. If your drain is clogged from grease, pouring some hot vinegar down the drain and letting it set for about 20 minutes and then follow that with some boiling water will usually clear it up. Pour the water and vinegar slowly so that it has a better effect on the clog.
The other main clog problem is hair clogs. Usually a mesh catch will remedy this problem. If the drain is clogged, then a drain cleaner from your local grocery store or department store, will fix this problem. You will need to let this sit for fifteen to twenty minutes. Just follow the directions on the package.
BUY YOUR OWN FIXTURES:
Anything that you are going to need to install, such as toilets and sinks, can be bought in advance. Plumbers will try to sell you what they have. They usually mark up the price, so it is way over priced. Buying these in advance will save you a lot of money. However you may want to check with the plumber in advance to see what brands are the best to minimize any confusion later. Some products are made cheaply and many plumbers will not use them or work with them. Discussing this with your plumber in advance will ensure you buy the best item.
REDUCE YOUR NEED:
One of the most overlooked ways to save money on a plumber is to simply check all your fixtures and make sure everything is tightened and attached properly. Sometimes simply checking these things yourself will save you from having to call out a plumber. If there are any leaks or clogs that need to be fixed, make a list of all of them. When the plumber arrives give him the list. Tell him this is exactly what needs to be done. He will get right on it, rather than trying to access the problem. He will be in your home for less time, hence saving you very valuable, hard earned money.